Scholars Guide

Scholars Guide

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Career Readiness

Financial Aid Quick Guide

Director’s Welcome

Scholars, Welcome!

Dear Covenant Scholars,

We are so grateful you chose Carolina for your undergraduate education. Your designation as a Carolina Covenant Scholar signifies your accomplishments, the university’s investment in your future, and the incredible opportunity to graduate debt-free from a world-class institution. You have our full support.

This guide contains critical information about resources, supports and opportunities exclusively developed for Carolina Covenant Scholars. Scholars who engage deeply with the opportunities outlined in this guide are most likely to build relationships, experiences, and skillsets that yield internship placements, job opportunities, and lifelong networks of mentoring and support. Use this guide throughout your career at Carolina to get plugged in, stay on track, and make the most of every opportunity to position yourself to thrive in college and after graduation.

Our team with the Carolina Covenant Program coordinates this network of investment and support for you, and we are also part of that network of support. Consider us a “home base” as you navigate your time here at Carolina. We look forward to meeting with you one-on-one to get to know you better, to support your goals and dreams, and to help you navigate any questions you may have about managing connections between your financial aid and opportunities to maximize your collegiate experience.

These resources are the products of a deep institutional commitment to your success and represent many individuals across and outside the university who believe that investing in your success will change the world. With this in mind, I encourage you to maximize the promise of the Carolina Covenant by choosing to engage with these resources and opportunities early and often. We are here to support you and to celebrate the achievements that will surely come along your way.


Candice Powell, PhD

Meet the Carolina Covenant Team

headschot of Jayne Davis
Jayne Davis
  • Director of Covenant Scholar Well-being
headschot of Jessie  Durham-Nash
Jessie Durham-Nash
  • Assistant Director for Career Development and Outcomes
headschot of Liv Ingram
Liv Ingram
  • Program Specialist
headschot of Candice Powell
Candice Powell
  • Director, Carolina Covenant
headschot of Ann Trollinger
Ann Trollinger
  • Associate Director, Carolina Covenant and Alumni Engagement

Priorities of The Covenant

The Carolina Covenant is more than an exceptional financial aid package. As a Carolina Covenant Scholar, you are wrapped within a campus-wide commitment to your success. A comprehensive infrastructure of support systems and a committed network of mentors and liaisons ensure that you have every opportunity to successfully complete your undergraduate education. Further, our University is dedicated to setting you up for post-undergraduate success in graduate school or the career field of your choice.

From wellbeing support, individualized mentoring, admissions test-prep review sessions, graduate school pathway discussions, high-impact career preparation, training, and job placement opportunities across a wide array of professions to community events like trivia nights and socials, the Carolina Covenant Program offers an array of opportunities to help you thrive at Carolina. Read your eblast (the name of our community email update) each week to learn more about the workshops, meetings, events, and resources we coordinate for you. You can also make an appointment with us or drop by! We’d love to connect with you.

Covenant Career Readiness and Opportunity

Watch video testimony from Covenant Scholars about supports & opportunities!

Financial Aid Career Readiness and Job Placement


Networking and Community Support Your Participation and Engagement
  • Request a Carolina Covenant Faculty or Staff Mentor.
    • We are updating our roster for 2022-2023, we will provide the link here in August, stay tuned!
  • Identify Carolina Covenant Liaisons in areas of interest; attend their sessions; email them to introduce yourself and learn more about their area.
  • Connect with the Carolina Covenant’s Student Advisory Council (SAC)– a team of undergraduate interns who serve as liaisons between Covenant Scholars and our professional team. The SAC also serve as interns with the Covenant office and include information about applying for the council and helping with the annual service project.
  • Join the Carolina Covenant GroupMe to connect with other Scholars and stay in the know about emergent opportunities
  • Follow the Covenant on Instagram to engage with and celebrate our Covenant community.
  • Read the e-blast each week to stay on top of resources, events, and opportunities just for you!
  • Make connecting with the Carolina Covenant team – the professional staff, the mentors, and the liaisons – a priority each year.
  • Attend Covenant sponsored workshops, discussions, social and other events to build a network of support and increase knowledge, preparedness, and capacity for success.

Networking & Career Preparation

The Carolina Covenant’s support for you leverages a rich network of strategic University partnerships that will benefit you in college and far beyond. Covenant Scholars who take full advantage of these opportunities are in the best position to make the most of their Carolina education.

Connect with a Carolina Covenant Mentor. Our Mentors are Carolina faculty, professional staff and administration, and peers at the University who can provide direct support for your individual interests and goals. The Covenant’s rich network of professional mentors represent a wide range of academic departments, professional schools, and administration, and have supported thousands of Covenant Scholars along their path to success at the University and beyond to graduate school and career opportunities. Covenant Scholars may request a faculty or staff mentor at any stage of their academic journey.

See our list of outstanding faculty and staff mentors.

To connect with a faculty or staff mentor, you will need to complete the Mentor Request Form.

To connect with an upper-level Carolina Covenant peer mentor during your first-year, be on
the lookout for an email in August asking if you would like to opt in. Students must opt-in to be matched with a peer mentor. The email will provide details for opting in and completing a survey about preferences for matching you with the best-fit peer mentor!

Connect with a Carolina Covenant High-Impact Liaison. Liaisons will actively seek connection with Covenant Scholars throughout the year to invite interested students to engage more with the professional school or academic and career-focused program they represent. There is a liaison for each of Carolina’s professional schools, and a pipeline program initiative for Covenant Scholars at the UNC School of Law, School of Medicine, and Kenan-Flagler Business School. Liaisons will host at least one information session each year for all Covenant Scholars, and serve as a connector, point of contact, and support for students seeking admission or deeper experience with their program or school.

Connect with our liaisons by emailing them directly to share your interest and ask specific questions about their department, program, or school, and attend their information sessions for Covenant Scholars (advertised in our e-blast). They are looking forward to hearing from you!

The Connecting Carolina’s Covenant Scholars (CCCS) initiative coordinates targeted
career preparation experiences at the University, a curated network of professional
advisors, our High Impact Liaisons, successful alumni and friends, local corporate and
industry partners, as well as financial and human resources to help you successfully
pursue and secure competitive career opportunities.

To be considered in priority pools for employment opportunities and to be
considered for special funding for career development experiences, you should
participate in the Covenant Career Accelerator Program. Scholars who move through
the Accelerator are positioned to have the first look in recruitment processes with our
employer partners and will have more relationships, training, and experiences to
position them as competitive applicants for jobs and graduate school.

To join and participate in the Covenant Career Accelerator Program, you must:

  1. Update your Handshake Account. This is incredibly important. Your account with Handshake will provide you access to a host of job and professional development opportunities. It is also the primary way our program will track your engagement with the Accelerator and facilitate developmental and job employment opportunities that target Covenant Scholars. Learn more about Handshake.
  2. Read and respond to emails from the Carolina Covenant this year, including an invitation to learn more about and register for the Accelerator Program during the first few weeks of classes and to participate in various opportunities across the year.
  3. Engage deeply in the select activities outlined in the Accelerator program to increase career readiness and employment opportunities.
  4. Complete a required progress report and needs assessment emailed to you at the end of each semester so that we may follow and support you!

Join the Career Accelerator Program!

*Communication about the program occurs during the fall and spring semesters.

While not required for the Accelerator Program, these courses are highly recommended and
provide the extra edge of readiness for career competency development.

Enroll in EDUC 111. Career Exploration. 1 Credit. Career Exploration is a designed to expose first and second year students to career development theories, while providing a framework for exploring and discovering their interests and skills. For first- and second-year students.

Enroll in EDUC 311. Life-Career Design. 3 Credits. This course examines the contemporary
research in career development (e.g. happiness, purpose, decision-making, values, experiential learning). The course guides students to use design thinking to apply the concepts to life action plans.

Enroll in EDUC 411. Making Liberal Arts “Work”. 3 Credits. Learn how to translate the outcomes of a liberal arts education to the world of work. The course will engage students in connecting one’s intellectual and practical learning, as well as individual and social responsibilities to contemporary career skills and life-career design.

Your Covenant Career Accelerator Program experiences interwoven with your overarching
academic, leadership, and social experiences at Carolina should provide you with the career readiness competencies below. The Accelerator tracking surveys and materials will help you to identify which experiences provided you with certain competencies and help you articulate the value of your work and the impact of what you learned for yourself and for career development and placement opportunities.

Career Readiness Competencies from the National Association of College Employers

  • Critical thinking/problem solving
  • Teamwork/collaboration
  • Professionalism/work ethic
  • Oral/written communications
  • Technology
  • Leadership
  • Career & Self Development
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Connect with us to learn more about the opportunities and supports outlined in this guide, and when issues arise that may impact your success at Carolina. We are here for you, feel free to email us!
  • Read the weekly eblast from the Carolina Covenant Program in your UNC student email inbox every week for information about connecting, engaging, and applying for resources and career development opportunities.
  • Join the Carolina Covenant Scholar GroupMe – hosted by the Carolina Covenant Student Advisory Council, and follow us on Instagram to stay in the know on relevant stories related to our program, to connect with and learn from other Scholars, and see last minute opportunities!
  • Browse the work-study jobs early and apply for positions. Most (though not all) Carolina Covenant Scholars benefit from Federal Work-Study as part of their financial aid package. These positions can help you gain professional experience, enhance career readiness competencies, and grow – even those not directly in the same area of your immediate career interests. So go on, apply! Questions? Email our work-study team.
  • If you are comfortable, disclose your Carolina Covenant scholar status in your email signature. Your email signature can alert potential supporters of your Scholar status and eligibility for targeted supports and opportunities. Something like this:

Rameses Tar Heel Jr.
Carolina Covenant Scholar, Class of 2026

  • Connect with a Covenant Mentor and our network of high-impact liaisons early in your academic career. Invest in those relationships. These individuals are dedicated to helping you grow and identify transformational opportunities that suit your interests and needs. Mentors and liaisons can be strong advocates for you when it comes time for letters of recommendation and knowledge of research and job opportunities.
  • Study Abroad. Yes! Covenant Scholars can absolutely Study Abroad. There are many programs for which tuition is the same as a regular semester at Carolina as well as other financial aid that could support your academic travel. Make sure to connect with our liaisons for Study Abroad for questions and attend forthcoming workshops.

Your Financial Aid: A Quick Guide

The Carolina Covenant is an incredible financial aid package that may include a combination of various scholarships, work-study, and grants – no loans – covering financial need (Cost of Attendance Minus Estimated Family Contribution) for individual students who qualify. The Covenant is also a system of supports and resources to help Covenant scholars thrive at Carolina and beyond.

With these significant financial, academic, and social supports, Carolina Covenant Scholars have the opportunity to graduate from UNC Chapel Hill debt-free and ready for the world.

The Carolina Covenant financial aid package meets the true need eligibility for every individual Covenant Scholar. It covers the cost of attendance minus expected family contribution through a combination of grants, scholarships, and Federal Work-Study. Each Covenant Scholars’ need eligibility is different, and so your financial aid package will look different from your peers. Comparing your package to another Scholar’s package is unlikely to help, but we hope that the following topics in this quick guide section will. We are also here to help you understand the billing process and how your financial aid is applied to your student account.

In some cases, your grants and scholarships may be taxable. It is best to seek the advice of a tax expert to look at your individual case. You will take the Award Notification of the tax calendar year (spring of the prior year and fall of the current academic year) to your tax preparer. In addition to private tax preparer services, the IRS has a free online tax service as well local agencies such as The United Way. Also, some credit unions offer free tax services.

You will need to take the 1098T form to your tax preparer to see if you are eligible for a tax tuition credit. Note that only students who paid money towards their tuition generally qualify. Our Cashiers Office issues 1098T forms based on financial aid disbursed to your student account during the calendar year’s tax period. Visit the University Cashier’s website to learn more.

  • Many Carolina Covenant Scholars have Work-Study in their financial aid offer. This is a earn as you work program where students are paid bi-weekly for their work with an on-campus unit or a community partner. Work-study employment can help you to increase your career competencies and grow your network of professional contacts. Learn more about work-study.
  • Why didn’t my funds disburse?
    • You must be enrolled full-time (12 hours) for your funds to disburse to the Cashiers Office. If you are on a waitlist for courses, your financial aid will disburse as soon as you reach full-time status. If you plan to stay below 12 hours through an approved underload (with academic advising) – you must complete the underload form. A counselor will review the financial aid at the reduced number of hours before disbursing your aid.
  • My refund doesn’t seem as big as in the past. What happened?
  • What happens to my Carolina Covenant financial aid package if I drop a course?
    • The academic and financial implications of course drops are individual and based on drop dates (see the Registrar’s calendar for dates). First, connect with an academic advisor with the Academic Advising Program to understand any academic implications of the drop. Then contact us to understand any financial implications.
  • How will it impact my financial aid if I drop classes after the census date?
    • Connect with an academic advisor to understand any academic implications based on the date you drop. Dropping after census date will not result in revisions to your financial aid (you will not owe anything back).
  • What happens to my Carolina Covenant award if I withdraw from the University?
    • Our office will be notified of the “effective date” of withdrawal. We will then be able to determine the amount that you will owe back to the University under the Return to Title IV federal guidelines. If you withdraw after being enrolled for over 60 percent of the semester, there will be no repayment. Please note that you will retain your Carolina Covenant Status if you return to the University by the date we specify.
  • I received an outside scholarship and did not receive all of my financial aid. What
    should I do?

  • The Carolina Covenant didn’t appear in my financial aid award letter. Am I still a Covenant Scholar?
    • The Carolina Covenant financial aid package is comprised of many different sources of funding, including a combination of various grants, scholarships, and (for those who qualify) work-study. The Carolina Covenant Scholarship is one of many funding sources that may be used to complete your package. If you have completed your FAFSA and other financial aid-to-do items on time, and if your aid matches your demonstrated need for the cost of attendance, you are still a Carolina Covenant Scholar.
  • I have loans in my package. What happened?
    • In these cases, your estimated family contribution (EFC) may have increased or, we may not have received your financial aid documents by the posted deadlines. To investigate further, you can email our counseling team for assistance.
  • Does the Carolina Covenant pay for classes during the summer?
    • The Carolina Covenant only meets 100 percent of a scholar’s need during the fall and spring semesters, but not summer. During the summer, you may be considered for prorated Pell Grants and loans. You may be considered for Work-Study if it is available. Check out our summer aid page to learn more.

While your budget includes a book allowance (about $645 a semester), your books are not automatically paid for with your financial aid. We do not recommend charging books at Student Stores to your account before your aid disburses. If possible, we recommend waiting for your aid to disburse (should be by the first day of classes) and your refund to hit your account and then use these funds to pay for your books. You will need to pay out of pocket for any difference. Consider renting or buying used books to offset costs. Learn more about additional resource on finding course materials.

You will be packaged at the highest meal plan rate (about $2,627 a semester). We recommend that students living on campus choose a meal plan before the start of school to ensure a smoother process for financial aid disbursement. Many Scholars find that they do not require the highest meal plan. The lower the meal plan, the more of your meal budget shows up as part of your refund. If you are living off campus and choose not to have a meal plan, you can use this budget toward your meals anywhere. Find more information on meal plans.

  • Is there financial aid for Study Abroad for Carolina Covenant Scholars for fall, spring, and summer?
    • Yes, you may use your financial aid to apply towards your study abroad program during the fall or spring semesters. Unfortunately, we do not have remaining grant aid to award for summer sessions. We encourage you to study abroad during the academic year through programs at the exchange rate. If you choose to study abroad during the summer, you will likely need a loan to cover the expenses. Contact our study abroad team with questions.

All students are required to have health insurance. If you are not covered under your parent’s health insurance, enroll in Student Blue student health insurance plan and complete the insurance budget adjustment request form to have funds applied to your account to cover the health insurance charge.

  • If I am living in Ram Village, or off-campus, and my living costs exceed the on campus standard double occupancy rate for housing, may I request a housing allowance add-on?
    • We encourage you to make housing choices within your financial aid budget (the standard double occupancy rate) to make the most of your aid and to avoid needing loans. If you would like more funds to cover your choice of more expensive housing, you may apply for a loan. Extenuating circumstances may be addressed to our team, so feel free to reach out.
  • What happens to my financial aid if I move off-campus?
    • Your financial aid will be exactly the same if you live on or off-campus. The difference is that you will receive a refund that you will have to budget carefully for off-campus housing/meals/transportation.
  • If I make a change from living with parents to moving back on campus – or moving to an off-campus apartment living independently, will my budget be updated?
    • Contact the Office of Scholarships and Student aid if you change your living arrangement from living with parents to living on or off campus so that we may update your budget and financial aid award. However, if you change from living on campus to moving off-campus – we use the same budget. There would be no change to the financial aid.
  • Do Carolina Covenant Scholars receive support for a laptop computer?
    • Yes, you will be automatically eligible for a CCI laptop grant in your entering semester only. This covers the basic Lenovo laptop computer. If you want a more expensive version you will have to cover the difference out of pocket. If you wish to order printers/copiers, you will also be responsible for paying for those out of pocket. Learn more about the CCI laptop grant.
  • Does the Covenant cover the cost of outside counseling or therapy?
    • We understand that many students struggle with the cost of mental health resources. We recommend connecting early with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) to understand your options. If you require support outside of CAPS, their staff can advise about additional grant funding for counseling and the portion that may be covered.
  • What else is good to know?

The Carolina Covenant financial aid package provides the opportunity for Carolina Covenant Scholars to graduate debt-free. To increase the likelihood that you will graduate without debt, we encourage you to make financial decisions that keep your expenses within the scope of the financial aid package and avoid loans unless you absolutely need it. For example, staying within the standard double occupancy rate for housing expenses on or off campus, maximizing work-study and employment opportunities, planning to maximize fall and spring course enrollment at 12-15 hours each, and considering study abroad experiences that are at the exchange rate can help you stay within the scope of your financial aid.

Contact the Covenant office with financial concerns so that we can support your consideration of all options for emergencies or academic opportunities before loans.

You can use our budgeting calculator to apply your per semester aid against your university billed costs. This will help you determine if your choices in housing or meal plans will cause you to owe a bill, or to be eligible for a refund.

Follow us on Instagram

Stay in the know of Covenant events and happenings!

Join Covenant GroupMe

Hosted by the Covenant Student Advisory Council!

Contact our team

We are here to help, so feel free to reach out!